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Wheat futures increase due to fears about crop damage following winter storm


U.S. wheat futures increased more than 2 percent Monday as frost across key growing regions stoked fears of widespread production losses, pushing prices to a six-week high.

As Reuters reports, at one point Monday, wheat futures on the Chicago Board of Trade rose to $4.43 a bushel, the highest since March 10.

Andrew Woodhouse, grains analyst at Advance Trading in Australasia, said with frost through Kansas, Colorado, and Oklahoma, the market is concerned about crop damage.

Frost threatens rapidly maturing hard red winter wheat crops and the cold weather that accompanied a major winter storm in eastern Colorado and western Kansas over the weekend adds to the other types of unfavorable effects weather has had on the crop.

As Bloomberg reports, it will take several days before damage to the crop can be assessed, but early estimates suggest losses could exceed 50 million bushels.

About 25 percent of the Kansas crop was forming grain as of April 23, up from 20 percent a year earlier, U.S. Department of Agriculture data showed.